CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you're a gardener like me, you just want to be outside, no matter what the weather. I've been wandering around my yard, picking up a stick here, raking a bit of leaves there - just wishing there was something I could be doing!
My husband and son believe they have a great idea for outdoor fun around the Busse house: They want an all-terrain vehicle - an ATV. I think this sounds like fun, but how often would we use it? To appeal to Mom, the boys describe all sorts of garden implements that can attach to it, so I decide to investigate.
It's true! There are landscape rakes for grading, leveling, spreading topsoil, stone and gravel. There's a box scraper that does similar jobs. There are discs for tilling. There are sprayers and spreaders. My daughter pointed out the snowplow attachment - perfect for our long, snowy driveway. Great - she's in on this plot, too. It all started to appeal to me.
Then the reality hit. Where will we put this thing? The boys suggest putting it on the front porch under a tarp. I vetoed. They suggest the back porch, right outside the dining room window, under a tarp, of course. Vetoed again. What is it about men and tarps?
Of course, my family wants to explore the Hatfield and McCoy trails in Southern West Virginia. So that means we would need more than one ATV. More tarps.
We will be thinking about this for a bit longer.
I read an article about "The Snow Road" in Garden and Gun magazine, and I was proud to see another of our state's beautiful places highlighted nationally. The article tells of the Highland Scenic Highway (W.Va. 150) between Richwood and Marlinton. The two-lane road remains unplowed during winter and is normally closed to traffic from December to March.
"After all, that highway is at 4,500 feet elevation, and it just gets impossible to keep the road open," says Brandon Funk, a ranger with the Monongahela National Forest. Which is great news for winter sports enthusiasts.
All season long, snowmobiles ply the 43-mile stretch of closed highway, and there are more than 150 miles of trails spreading away from the road for snowshoeing, backcountry or cross-country skiing and winter camping. For weather reports and advice, contact the Monongahela National Forest Ranger Station at Marlinton, www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf.
I attended the Cincinnati Flower Show last spring, and a lovely woman called me this week to see if I wanted to purchase tickets for next year's show. It reminded me to be on the lookout for interesting garden shows to visit this year. If anyone has a favorite, please e-mail or call so I can include it in a future column.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.